Floated it Thursday afternoon. Semi-unpleasant as it got dark. I could do it with waders but I don't have a big pair of fins that can accommodate the bootie and at this point in the year I'm not inclined to go on the hunt. So I think I will pack the pontoon away tomorrow and call it a season for the lake.
The little brook? That's back in play, with water temps down to 60 and below, and a decent flow.
The stocked fish have spread out all around the Housatonic TMA and beyond, and with the low flow the wading angler can get to spots normally accessible only by boat. It was 41 degrees this morning in Lakeville, and yesterday at midday I got water temps in the low 60s, in full sunshine.
There are some holdovers around, and they aren't particularly shy about grabbing a mop or a swung soft-hackle. The trick is to find them. Hint: They are probably not hanging around 50 yards from the bank at Push 'Em Up.
The dry spell has rendered the brook trout streams unfishable, which is cramping my style somewhat.
This weekend I will take one last crack at largemouth in the lake before closing up operations on Mt Riga.
Next week I will begin concentrating on the Esopus, which has cooled down finally, although turbidity remains an issue, with a strange phenomenon in the Schoharie reservoir in which sediment remains suspended in the water. Something to do with subsurface wave inversion, whatever that means.
A nice warm spell has pushed my plans back a week or so.
The Hous trout have gotten smarter fast. The flow is very low too, and I'm guessing the water temps are going to get back in the iffy range until we get some meaningful rain and this warm weather ends.
This is probably the time to go to the Farmington mid-week and test my dry fly skills, which have atrophied.
I got busy splitting wood so failed to take the final turn around the lake
So yesterday -- Columbus Day -- was quite nice and while I didn't have the day off exactly I was finished around noon.
I nixed the Farmington because I figured a) crowds and b) very low. Took a ride down along the Housatonic and that was a zoo.
So I remembered that the state dumped a bunch of rainbows into the Blackberry a couple weeks back. I had a long-standing request for trout for the table for some friends of my mother's. "Oho," sez I. "Let us go obtain a few delicious hatchery specials."
Mission accomplished, although I made it as difficult as possible. I used a Galaxy zoom Tenkara rod (roughly 8.5 -- 10 -- 12 ft) with a 12 foot line and tippet attached to that.
There were a lot of leaves on the water, and every time the wind picked up there were more. Caddis were on the menu, and I spent a lot of time trying to get a Deer Hair Sedge to land in between the leaves. I caught leaves to rainbows at a ratio of about 6-1.
Finally I made my way up to the big pool by the Beckley furnace dam. Low enough to see what's going on there quite clearly.
I tied a white panfish popper on about three feet of 3X to serve as a bobber. To the hook I tied four feet of 5X, and used an assortment of things underneath/behind: DHS, caddis pupa, tungsten jig nymphs, soft hackle wets, and BWO specks.
They all worked to some extent, and I caught about 15 rainbows and kept two. I have two already in the freezer from earlier this year, so I think two more should make a reasonable meal for two seasoned citizens.
I lost a bunch too because the line/tippet was long enough that there was really no alternative to grabbing the line by hand at some point in the proceedings. And that is tantamount to handing the wriggly fish a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.
Went again yesterday afternoon and amidst the 12-14 inch bows caught a pretty hefty brown with big shoulders -- on the $#@! Tenkara rod with a hellacious long tippet. If I had another three feet of arm I could have scooped this guy into the net but alas.
Caddis in all forms working very well on this stream. Lots of surface action. Winning combo: Size 12 DHS with unweighted tan caddis pupa (w/hot spot) on about two feet of 5X dropper tied directly to hook of DHS.
Hous is at 1020 this morning, which is the upper limit for wading in certain, well-defined areas. The Elms and the park, for instance. Be careful.
Tribs are in nice shape, as are little blue lines. If you are venturing into the woods, wear your rubber/studs boots rather than felt/studs. What you lose in the stream you will more then gain when trying to scramble up or down a steep hillside covered with leaves, which are largely down after last week's storm.
I had an old friend from high school visiting. Never used a fly rod before. Ten minutes of casting practice in the driveway and off we went.
First stop Housatonic at Elms, flow 800 and change. Picked Elms because wading there is comparatively easy, plenty of room, and usually catch something.
But Steve has had some health problems and he was having difficulty moving around in the water. So went to the quieter confines of the Blackberry where he caught his first fish, a rare rainbow/piranha hybrid that almost killed us.
Day two -- we scrambled up a little blue line. I took mercy on him and we went straight to a series of plunge pools and skipped the hardcore scrambling in close quarters. Success again with both fly rod and Tenkara. Once again I note the value of fixed line rods for teaching newcomers.
Here's yours truly demonstrating the fishing version of plumber's butt